"Software Craftsmanship: The New Imperative" Book Writeup

January 07, 2012

Software Craftsmanship: The New Imperative Book Cover Software Craftsmanship: The New Imperative Pete McBreen ISBN: 0201733862

What’s the point?
The book lays out the concept of software craftsmanship, how it differs from software engineering, and why your company might want to shift to a craftsmanship model.

How was it?
While slightly dated, this book is a good overview of the “craftsmanship movement”. The book does a good job of explaining what it might look like to work in a craftsmanship environment and summarizes the different stages a programmer will go through (apprentice, journeymen, master craftsman).

The sections that outlined how to build a team - by letting a master craftsman hand pick the team - and the emphasis on maintaining an app through the full life cycle were pretty interesting. I think it would be really neat to work in this kind of environment; the focus on quality, learning, team camaraderie, and being a partner for clients align closely with my current thoughts on an “ideal” setup.

There was, intentionally, a lack of concrete examples or specific steps to follow but I found myself thinking “Okay - this sounds good, but how do I start making this happen at work?” and wanting more.

Who should read it?
Developers with an interest in software craftsmanship, apprenticeship, the “studio model” or managers looking for advice on building excellent technical teams or introducing the craftsmanship culture to an organization

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